Child support is a crucial aspect of ensuring that children receive the financial support they require from both parents. In Colorado, understanding when child support concludes, and the associated nuances can be intricate. Let’s delve into the specifics.
What Is Child Support in Colorado?
At its core, child support is a financial commitment made by one parent to the other, ensuring the child’s basic needs like food, shelter, education, and healthcare are met. The determination of child support in Colorado is governed by the child support guidelines set out in Colorado Revised Statutes Title 14 § 14-10-115.
Typical Termination Age for Child Support
In many U.S. states, the age of majority, when a child legally becomes an adult, is 18. However, in Colorado, child support typically continues until the child reaches the age of 19. There are certain exceptions to this rule:
- High School Enrollment: If the child is still in high school or a similar educational program when they turn 19, child support can continue until the end of the month following their graduation, but not beyond the age of 21.
- Dropouts and Re-enrollment: Should a child drop out and later re-enroll in high school, support persists until one month post-graduation, capped at the age of 21.
- Physical or Mental Disabilities: For children with disabilities, support can extend beyond 19.
- Marriage Dissolution: If a child marries and later divorces or annuls their marriage, child support can be reinstated.
- Financial Independence: If a child cannot financially support themselves or live autonomously.
Early Termination of Child Support
While 19 is the standard age, there are situations where child support may end earlier:
- If the child marries.
- If they achieve financial independence through employment.
- Upon joining the military before age 19.
- If both parents agree in writing to the child’s emancipation.
Consequences of Not Paying Child Support
It is important to understand that stopping child support payments without legal authorization can have serious consequences. Unpaid amounts, known as “arrearages,” can accumulate and lead to the following repercussions:
- Tax refunds interception
- Seizure of bank accounts
- Negative credit bureau reporting
- Driver’s license suspension
- Income assignments, where child support is directly deducted from wages
Understanding the Legal Process for Child Support Adjustments
Child support is a comprehensive obligation designed to ensure children’s well-being. Navigating its complexities, especially in relation to termination and exceptions, can be challenging. It’s always advisable to seek guidance from a Denver family law attorney if you face uncertainties regarding child support in Colorado.